Reading Italian food menu

The first time when I went to Italy, pasta, pizza and spaghetti were the only things that I was aware of. It was a fine sunny afternoon when I finally expanded my taste. Sitting at a real Italian restaurant, I peeked at the menu and was zonked. There were names that I was totally unaware of. And worse, there were no pictures to accompany each dish.

I had no idea what to choose, I didn’t want to be embarrassed by ordering something that I couldn’t put into my mouth. So I had pizza once again. But that day I decided that it was high time to learn more about the Italian food menu. A typical Italian food menu will have a huge ensemble of dishes for every meal of the day. Usually they will offer you a light breakfast, a grand lunch, and an equally grand dinner. Plus, there are numerous snacks and appetizers choose from.

Why Toppings and Ingredients Matter

It might just take some time, but it is recommended that you learn the names of the ingredients that are used in Italian food preparation. Indeed, Italian dishes are all about toppings and sauces. You should become aware of the added flavor and taste that particular sauces will provide to particular dishes.

Below are some Italian terms that you will come across. Note that they are in a particular order.

  • L’antipasto: This means before the meal and it will include several hot as well as cold appetizers or starters like bruschetta,   mozzarella in carrozza, and crostini.
  • Il primo (the first course) can be pasta, minestrone or zuppa.
  • Il secondo (second course) is your main course and can contain meat dishes, fish dishes, or rice.
  • Il dolce (dessert) includes sweets like torta della and zabaglione, which is a delicious custard of egg yolks, wine and brandy.

I hope this helps you decipher the menu the next time you step into an Italian restaurant. You can pick up more tips and Italian food menu samples from is known for their excellent gourmet Italian sauces, dishes, recipes and more.